“Ugh. This club sucks. They’ll let anyone in…”

I kinda missed the boat on this one, but I felt the need to comment on it regardless: The infamous “27 Club” and Amy Winehouse’s baffling inclusion.

Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and… Amy Winehouse? No. No, I don’t think so.
The five people mentioned pre-Winehouse have all contributed so much to music that, long after their deaths, their legacy lives on. To compare Winehouse to these departed legends of rock is borderline insulting.

Here’s why…


Brian Jones founded one of the longest standing bands of all time; who are still highly relevant, both touring and recording wise. He was also a highly innovative master musician, which used to mean epic at playing instruments. Sadly, in our modern times, master musician now means you have your very own Pro-Activ commercial…

Jimi Hendrix was a God of the Electric Guitar. I dare anyone to watch his performance at the Isle of Wight Festival, or Woodstock, and still dispute this. Not the 1999 fires/rape/chaos Woodstock, the real one. From 1969. He was the first musician to illustrate how profoundly different the electric guitar could be used compared to the acoustic…

Janis Joplin, while not one of my favourite singer/songwriters, undoubtedly paved the way, or set the template, for strong/independent singer/songwriters like Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde. More recent examples of Joplins’ influence include Madonna, Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, Pink and Lady Gaga (Hmm, that last one may actually count against her…) Still, I’ve never heard anyone else referred to as “The Queen of Rock and Roll”.

Jim Morrison. The supremely self destructive, charismatic, poet masquerading as a rock star. A true pioneer and prototype for the modern day rock star; surly, sexy, scandalous and mysterious. So many (epic) lead singers claim Morrison to be an influence – Eddie Vedder, Scott Weiland, Julian Casablancas, Layne Staley and, erm, Scott Stapp…

Kurt Cobain. The accidental architect of the grunge generation. Possibly the last real rock star. It’s undeniable the legacy he has left behind. Not just on the realm of music, but on the iconosphere in general. For example, it’s not uncommon to see Kurt Cobain t-shirts sharing racks with Che Guevara t-shirts. Think about that for a moment…

Amy Winehouse. Pre, or post, death. Who knows.

And then we come to Amy Winehouse…

Had one ok album and one great one. Consistently terrible live performances. Her rampant drug abuse, more often than not, received more attention than her music. Spawned imitators – Duffy, Adele, and other replicates. Meh.

Now, time may prove me wrong but I honestly don’t believe that Amy Winehouse will have any long term impact on the music industry, let alone the universe in general.
The impact of the other club members permeates through the very genes of the music scene to this very day. I’m not sure Amy Winehouse did enough with her short career to embed herself into the greater music consciousness.

Perhaps dying when you’re 27 isn’t enough to warrant entry into this, once exclusive, club.

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